As inequalities widen and the effects of austerity deepen, in many countries the wealth of the rich has soared. Why we can't afford the rich exposes the unjust and dysfunctional mechanisms that allow the top 1% to siphon off wealth produced by others, through the control of property and money. Leading social scientist Andrew Sayer shows how over the last three decades the rich worldwide have increased their ability to hide their wealth, create indebtedness and expand their political influence. Written accessibly for a wide readership, this important book uses simple distinctions to burst the myth of the rich as specially talented wealth creators. Furthermore, as the risk of runaway climate change grows, it shows how the rich are threatening the planet by banking on unsustainable growth. The author forcefully argues that the crises of economy and climate can only be resolved by radical change to make economies sustainable, fair and conducive to well-being for all.